Mt Pleasant News
http://mt-pleasant-ia.villagesoup.com/p/july-4th-a-day-to-give-thanks-for-all-the-freedoms-we-enjoy/123275

Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

July 4th — a day to give thanks for all the freedoms we enjoy

By Bill Gray

By BILL GRAY

Mt. Pleasant News

Thank goodness for the United States of America.

Circumstances are making it challenging to acknowledge how lucky we are.

But when you put things in a global perspective:

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Of course, I’m inspired to think about the worth of our country because it’s birthday comes up on Monday – you do recall it’s not just about a three-day weekend and fireworks, right? Other countries have mandatory celebrations, which sort of takes some of the spontaneity out of the event, yes?

So while I and many others note with regret that some forget our holidays have meaning beyond vacation time, the fact we can observe them as we please: That’s worth celebrating.

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Sure, the streets in Mt. Pleasant leave a lot to be desired. But there are cities many times our size where curbs and gutters do not exist, and the streets double as open sewers.

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I’m having a lot of trouble with state of Iowa logic that says Henry County should have its Iowa Workforce Development services slashed when its unemployment remains higher than most counties in the state. But I also heard a report this week that unemployment in the Middle East among those under age 25 is about 20 percent – and even a full-time Workforce Development Center can’t make much of a dent in that.

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In a good year it’s tough to put out kudos for the state legislature. The Iowa lawmakers have outdone themselves this year by trying our patience – and most likely, their own to the max – by having the third longest-running session in state history.

Yet it’s so very much better to have a Legislature than to have none at all. Ask the beleaguered folks in Yemen or Syria, for openers.

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We’ve got some buildings in Henry County we’d like to fill with manufacturers and retailers. There are some nice homes that would fit some singles, couples and families as well. But we don’t have to ponder too long to recognize that we are lucky to have the buildings we have rather than face the incredible challenges of replacing and rebuilding that are going on in Joplin, Mo., after that horrendous tornado.

But that’s because we’re lucky, not necessarily because we live in the United States. So let’s add the obvious: Many people are lucky to have four walls and a roof of any condition, whether for conducting business or sheltering their families. We Americans have a stable nation to thank for our stable communities.

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Can we thank the United States for good weather? Well-l-l-l, let me attempt to make my case: Our Founding Fathers and mothers and babies and livestock and etc. chose a pretty good set of longitudes and latitudes.

Go further north? Thanks, Canada, but no thanks for those longer winters?

South? Heat and a little jungle on the side? Save that helping for someone else.

Thank goodness for the United States and its variety of weather. And we Midwesterners have it even better, since if we don’t like the weather, we only have to wait a day!

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And thank goodness I live in the United States, because I might get shot in another country for weather jokes that bad! Happy Fourth to all!